In solidarity?

In the BC Liberal Party it seems you're never too young to have a message box. In response to reports that universities will receive substantially less provincial funding then they were told to expect, youth communications director Zach Poturica sent an email to fellow travellers with "some facts and information about what's really taking place." We'll let you read that email for yourself. But pay particular attention to Mr. Poturcia's rather curious complimentary close - "Reaching Higher" - which, presumably, was inspired by the title of Premier Gordon Campbell's address to the party's 2006 convention. The following is a complete copy of the aforementioned email and its follow-up.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about Post Secondary Education in BC. Here are some facts and information about what's really taking place.

Funding

In the 2007 budget, the BC government committed funds to increase the number of seats at various colleges and universities. However, when these institutions ended up with less students than anticipated, the funds ended up going towards seats that weren't being used. The government was essentially funding empty spaces.

Meanwhile, wait lists at Colleges and Universities that offered training for nurses, skilled trades and aboriginals, continued to grow. In the 2008 budget, since there was no demand for the other seats and a high demand for these seats, the government redirected the funds to meet the demand.

This adjustment only affected funds for seat growth - the operating funding for all post-secondary institutions was not affected. In fact, this year, funding to BC's universities, colleges and institutes will increase by more than $61 million. As a result of this increase, every post-secondary institution will see increases in their operating funding from the government.

Post secondary education funding is currently at its highest level ever.

Enrollment / Spaces

Enrollment is increasing dramatically at public institutions; not decreasing. There are currently 433,000 students enrolled in public post-secondary institutions in BC.

Over 25,000 new spaces are being added to BC's post-secondary institutions across the province and more than 15,000 of those spaces have already been funded. In addition, more than $1.2 billion dollars has been spent on capital expansions to post-secondary institutions since 2001.

Since 2001, the government has doubled the number of doctors and nurses being trained in BC.

Tuition

BC has the fourth-lowest tuition in Canada and the governnment has provided over $1.46 billion dollars in financial assistance to students since 2001, to help them pay their tuition costs. By reducing tuition costs through financial assistance instead of across-the-board reductions, the government has been able to help those who need it the most.

Results

More students are graduating - the average number of degrees/diplomas/certificates awarded by BC's post-secondary institutions each year has increased by 16.7% since 2002.

More students are finding work - Between 93.7% - 96.1% of graduates were able to find employment within 9 months of graduating.

Please feel free to forward this information to your friends and contacts. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Reaching Higher,

Zach Poturica
Communications Director
BC Young Liberals

***

Some of you have asked for specific funding information for each post secondary institution. Here it is:

Universities

2007-08 budget ($millions)

2008-2009 budget ($millions)

Increase
(millions)

Royal Roads University

15.2
15.8
0.6

Simon Fraser University

187.4
194.5
7.1

Thompson Rivers University

59.8
60.9
1.1

UBC

477.8
503.6
25.8

UVIC

151.8
157.9
6.1

University of Northern BC

41.3
42.8
1.5

Universities Total

933.3
975.6
42.3

Colleges and Institutes

BCIT

99.7
103.4
3.7

Camosun

45.6
47.4
1.8

Capilano College

35.1
35.6
0.5

College of New Caledonia

26.1
27.4
1.3

College of the Rockies

15.6
16.1
0.5

Douglas College

53.1
53.8
0.6

Emily Carr

12.2
12.4
0.2

Justice Institute

8.2
8.4
0.3

Kwantlen University College

62.2
63.0
0.8

Langara

39.5
41.3
1.8

Malaspina

46.5
47.4
0.9

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

6.8
7.1
0.3

North Island College

20.5
20.7
0.2

Northern Lights College

16.4
16.5
0.1

Northwest Community College

16.6
17.2
0.6

Okanagan College

37.9
40.2
2.3

Selkirk

23.8
23.9
0.1

University College of the Fraser Valley

45.0
47.3
2.3

Vancouver Community College

48.4
49.4
1.0

College & Institute totals

659.2
678.5
19.3

System Totals

1,592.5
1,654.1
61.6

Reaching Higher,
Zach Poturica
Communications Director
BC Young Liberals

1 Comment

Of course, what he leaves out is that the budget reductions were announced after annual budgets for these institutions were already set, resulting in budget chaos right at the end of the fiscal year. It looks very much like incompetence, not policy-making.

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